The Purge (2013)
Wracked with crime and economic issues the new founding fathers of America have taken matters into their own hands and changed the way the country does things to help America overcome its issues and do more than survive but instead thrive. So annually there is one 12-hour period where all criminal activity, including murder, is legal. There are no police, EMT, hospitals etc. to come to anyones aid during this time. It is known as the purge. For this one night people can purge themselves of their violent emotions and intentions so that the rest of the year is peaceful and economically fruitful. The wealthy have the means to protect themselves on this night and the Sandin family is one of those. James Sandin (Ethan Hawke) actually sells the security systems that protect the wealthy, including their whole neighborhood. As he and his wife, son and daughter lockdown for the night things go horribly wrong. Intruders enter the Sandin home and they are forced to participate in the purge, something they have never done. Also starring Lena Headey, Max Burkholder, Adelaide Kane, Edwin Hodge, Rhys Wakefield, Tony Oller, Arija Bareikis, Tom Yi, Chris Mulkey, Tisha French, Peter Gvozdas, John Weselcouch, Alicia Vela-Bailey.
The Purge is a sadistic commentary on our culture that will shock you and make you laugh even when you don’t want to. The first time I saw a trailer for The Purge I said I didn’t want to see it. Being a movie reviewer that wasn’t really an option and that’s a good thing because I am glad I saw this one. This movie is oddly thought-provoking while at the same time being funny, shocking, creepy and at time just ridiculous. One of those movies that you have to take the good with the bad because the bad actually adds to the film in an unexpected and strange way. Hard to explain but its the bad or cheesy elements that add the funny and break up the killing in a nice way. I think what I really like are the few unexpected elements. There are two moments that you just don’t see coming. They aren’t twists per say they are just nice plot lines that add to the depth of an other wise flat and predictable film. Don’t get me wrong this movie will make you want to have a good cleansing afterward and not the murder kind, so I suggest picking up a light-hearted comedy or something to watch after. I am not saying this is a great movie, it was just unexpected. The Purge is not a subtle film and it has a lot of highs and lows in terms of quality but definitely go see it because it is one of the more intriguing films so far this year.
8/10 Stars – Not what I expected…sadistic yet thought-provoking and strangely funny at times. Just odd.
I knew little about The Purge before I went to see it except that it was a horror film starring Ethan Hawke. When the movie started and I discovered the movie was about 1 night each year where nothing was “illegal” and you could “Purge” the unwanted people, I was interested to see where it would go because that idea would be AWESOME for a horror film. However, with a run time of 85 minutes, the film does not live up to the potential AT ALL. First things first, there are no plot deviations or side stories that make the film feel more substantial. It is simply about a gang of creeps looking for a homeless man who a family gives refuge to. They could have added plenty more scares, events and characters to add to the fear they tried to create. The next thing that I didn’t like was the use of guns. I mean, this movie is a horror film, right? So horror fans are going to see it, right? So why show us a bunch of deaths scenes that involve simply shooting someone on a night where you can do WHATEVER you want?!?!? Where are the axes? Where are the flame-throwers? Where are the chain saws? Where is the real crime? Don’t get me wrong, there are some intense scenes that instill fear, and the gang leader sure is creepy, but the execution was done without imagination. Plus, don’t get me started on the last 5 minutes of the movie! The ending is such a let down after a nice plot twist that could have been carried out a different way as well. Even with a premise that showed promise and intrigue, what transpired on the screen was disappointing and a let down. Good thing this movie is short, that why you don’t have to waste too much of your time, but I guess if it was longer it could have been better.
6/10 Stars – Too short with poor execution of a premise that sounded really intriguing.
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